Europe will face terror threat if Libya govt falls: Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said terrorist organizations could find a fertile ground in Libya. (File/AFP)
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Updated 18 January 2020

Europe will face terror threat if Libya govt falls: Erdogan

  • The article was published on the eve of a Libya peace conference in Berlin
  • Erdogan’s government backs Sarraj and the Turkish parliament approved the deployment of troops to Libya

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Europe it could face new threats from terrorist organizations if Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli were to fall, in an article published in Politico on Saturday.

In the article, which was published on the eve of a Libya peace conference in Berlin, Erdogan said the EU’s failure to adequately support the Government of National Accord (GNA) would be “a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights.”

“Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya’s legitimate government were to fall,” Erdogan wrote.

“Terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, which suffered a military defeat in Syria and Iraq, will find a fertile ground to get back on their feet.”

The GNA led by Fayez Al-Sarraj has been under attack since April from strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces based in the east of the country, with fighting killing over 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters.

In a joint initiative, Turkey and Russia have brokered a cease-fire but Haftar walked away from talks in Moscow this week aimed at finalizing the truce agreement.

A furious Erdogan has accused Haftar of fleeing Moscow and said he would “teach (him) a lesson” if he resumed fighting.

Erdogan’s government backs Sarraj and the Turkish parliament approved the deployment of troops to Libya earlier this month after the signing of a controversial security and maritime deal between Tripoli and Ankara.

“To leave Libya at the mercy of a warlord would be a mistake of historic proportions,” he said, in a veiled reference to Haftar.


Earthquake shakes Lebanon and Syria

Updated 03 April 2020

Earthquake shakes Lebanon and Syria

  • Syrian officials say the earthquake measured 4.7 on the Richter Scale and struck off the coast of Latakia

BEIRUT: A small earthquake in the eastern Mediterranean was felt across parts of Lebanon and Syria on Friday.

"Residents in Beirut, Zgharta, Batroun, Tripoli and Akkar felt an earthquake that lasted for several seconds," Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said.

The earthquake measured 4.7 on the Richter Scale at a depth of 20 kilometres, some 65 kilometres from the coastal city of Latakia, Syria’s state news agency SANA reported.

The shaking was felt in Latakia Tartous, Hama, Homs, and Aleppo.